I am fully aware that we are no longer in the season of Christmas; in fact we are just about to flip the calendar over to April. This is a post I had been working on in the weeks leading up to December, but as with many things these past few months, some pots have to move to the back burner and this was a pot that got moved and turned to low. However, we are currently in the season of Lent and as “fish” is still playing a prominent role and my love for Christmas doesn’t begin and end in December, I’ve rationally reasoned that I can just slip this in under the wire and so I’m running with that.
More than a year ago now, back in late October of 2019, I was scanning through YouTube in search of a clip for a piece I was writing. A movie trailer popped up in the suggested list and I was amused by the title, so I clicked on it. Before the trailer even finished, I knew this was a film that I had to see. I showed it to Mr. Michie that evening and he was in complete agreement. So, one Friday night, curled up on the couch with a bowl of popcorn between us we watched it. We laughed, we cried, we recognised these characters in front of us and then we watched it again and after that we watched it again and after that… well you get the drift.
We discerned after our first screening, but that thought became more solidified with each successive viewing, that we would be making our family watch this over the Christmas holidays when we were all together (*This was Pre-Covid when we could move freely). One side of my family is loud, crazy and Italian. All of our events revolve around food, but doesn’t everyone’s? This movie resonated with me, it spoke to my soul. I know these people, I know this town, I understood Tony’s reservations about letting someone else peer into the idiosyncrasies of his family. Every family has their own dynamic and letting someone else have entry into that world is a very personal thing, it’s a baring of your soul.
One, evening after Christmas day, by the twinkle of the lights on the tree, we sat everyone down and pressed PLAY. The rest, as they say, is history. Like us, they were hooked. It has truly become one of my parent’s favourite movies of the past year. So much so, that they have bought it, watched it repeatedly and told everyone else about it. This movie isn’t a secret that you keep to yourself. Personally, I’ve watched this movie in parts here or there, or fast forwarded to a favourite scene at some point almost every day of 2020, that’s still happening in 2021. It has been one of the many things that has gotten us through this current period with humour.
Feast of the Seven Fishes, is a charming, comically and tenderly crafted story with a lot of heart and soul. I feel that I know each of the characters. The clothes, the cars and the sets are perfect, down to the tiniest detail. The grandparent’s house is inviting and cozy, you believe this family truly lives there, it’s like being at your actual Nonni’s house. The Christmas tablecloth draped over the small dinette set in the kitchen, the angel card stuck on the avocado hued fridge and the ceramic tree with it’s jewelled toned lights glowing on the counter are all the little touches that seamlessly work to enhance and flesh out each scene alongside an outstanding ensemble of actors. Like a real family, their expressions say more at times than their words do.
Robert Tinnell has written a story about life, home, family, relationships, good food and the people you meet along your journey. I don’t care if you come form a crazy Catholic Italian family or not, this movie will speak to you. At its heart, it is simply about family and everyone can relate to that.
Do yourself a favour and go watch this movie!
The following are two conversations I found interesting, you might too:
Conversations with the cast and director of Feast of the Seven Fishes
The FEAST Podcast: A conversation with director Robert Tinnell